A Windows-based installer that allows Ubuntu and Windows to coexist on the same machine and a powerful new sound server are the key features of the latest Ubuntu update.

Codenamed "Hardy Heron", version 8.04 is the second Ubuntu release to offer long-term support.

This means that security and maintenance updates will be available for this version for 3 years on the desktop and 5 years on the server, explains Ars Technica.

The update also includes GNOME 2.22, which is the latest version of the open-source desktop environment, with better security and a redesigned virtual filesystem abstraction layer.

PulseAudio is the new sound server; while this release also includes Wubi, which installs a fully functional Ubuntu environment into a folder in the Windows filesystem.

It basically allows Windows users to enter Ubuntu when they start up.

And it can be uninstalled using the Add/Remove Programs utility in Windows.

Also worth a quick mention is the new CD burning program called Brasero.

The next major version, 8.10, is scheduled for release in October; and is codenamed Intrepid Ibex (who comes up with these names?).

Ubuntu 8.04 is available for download from the Ubuntu website.